Down on the farm this Jambulan plum- tree is another tree which is bearing fruits for us and another one which was new to me…It is so exciting all these wonderful tasting fruits that are coming into season.
Jambulan is a nutritious seasonal fruit found in abundance in Asia. Its season is April to July. It can be found growing in forests, backyards and along the roadsides. Natural wild-growing trees have a single seed. The hybrid varieties are seedless.
A purplish-black oval-shaped fruit when it is mature has a sweet and sour flavour which can be acidic and astringent. It is rich in the plant pigment anthocyanin and if you eat too much it is likely to leave you with a purple tongue and you may get the same feeling as I did when as a kid I ate too much of that sour lemon sherbet which made your fingers where you dipped and licked wrinkly and your tongue tingle. Who remembers that??
It can be used to make Jams and jellies but due to the very low pectin levels must be mixed with fruit with high pectin or a commercial pectin substitute.
It makes a lovely accompaniment for pulao or rice pilaf. Just mix chopped deseeded Jambulan with fresh yoghurt and combine. Add chopped coriander and powdered cumin and stir. Taste and season with salt.
The pulp is used to makes sauces and fermented beverages like shrub, cider and wine. Now if you are wondering what shrub is ( and I was) it is flavoured vinegar. Which makes wonderful drinks with soda and ice or with cocktails…But that is another post for another day.
- 1 3/4 cups of chopped and seeded Jambulan.
- 1 1/4 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of liquid pectin
- 1/2 cup lemon or lime juice.
- 7 cups of sugar.
Combine the Pectin, juice and water with the Jumbulan and bring to a fast, rolling boil. Add the sugar and stirring bring to a fast-rolling boil for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and skim of any foam. Pour quickly into hot pre-sterilised jars and seal.
N.B: If the fruit is too astringent then it can be soaked in saltwater before cooking.
The Jambulan plum can also be known as Java plum, black plum and Jambul it is also often eaten just as a healthy snack sometimes with a little salt to taste. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids.
The fruit, seeds, bark and leaves all have medicinal properties and it is believed to have its origins in Neolithic times. In India, it is known as ” Fruit of the Gods”
They can vary in size due to the soil and the weather conditions but can survive and thrive in dry, humid conditions.
The seeds when dried and powdered are a known effective treatment for diabetes. Bark powder mixed with the juice of the fruit is an effective treatment for coughs and colds. Leaves, when they are ground, are effective against dysentery and also for healing wounds.
Bark powder is also used as a cure for tapeworm. I am always amazed when I come across fruits like this as to how much they are still relied on in the villages here as cures for so much.
Mulberry’s…these berries which I again discovered by chance are very similar to our Blackberries maybe not quite as juicy but they taste very similar called Mon Ton here. So I thought I would treat the men to an Apple and Mulberry crumble.
I have always cooked dishes like crumble the way my mum always did but for once I thought I would try something new and deconstruct it!
The original crumble is lovely but you always get that bit between the fruit and the crumble which goes soggy…Don’t you??
Mulberries are also one of the favourites of the silkworm who produce the silk for the famous Thai Silk…Read about it here
Discovering all these fruits and plants which have medicinal uses made me think when a few years ago when I got stung by a jellyfish one of the ladies in a close-by restaurant went and picked some leaves crushed them and mixed them with something and put it on my sting and gave me the rest to take home and apply when needed…It worked…
At the time I was in so much pain and I didn’t ask the name of what she mixed it with or the name of the leaves she picked but my point being she knew what to use and it was obviously a remedy which had been passed down.
I am not saying that conventional medicine is not an option at all as sometimes it is a necessity and has saved many lives but there are times when if we know what to use we can find very effective drug free ways to heal and cure ourselves and our families.
I hope you enjoyed learning about this little fruit I hope to bring you a few more I have at least one more which is ripe and ready to eat so until next time.
Stay safe and have a great week :)xxx